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posted by martyb on Monday March 30 2015, @09:27AM   Printer-friendly
from the of-course-there-are-no-backups dept.

Anyone who follows American politics will have heard of Hillary Clinton's email server. Rather than using an official State Department address, she chose to use a private server for her official email. Federal law requires all official email to be archived on government servers. Armchair lawyers have pointed out that it doesn't require the use of government servers to send and receive the email, but the archival requirement is clear. This requirement was clearly violated in this case: in response to a subpoena, Hillary Clinton's private staff extracted emails from her private server and turned them over to the government. The contents of the server itself were never made available to the government, and now she has had the server erased:

Hillary Clinton wiped “clean” the private server housing emails from her tenure as secretary of state, the chairman of the House committee investigating the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi said Friday.

“While it is not clear precisely when Secretary Clinton decided to permanently delete all emails from her server, it appears she made the decision after October 28, 2014, when the Department of State for the first time asked the Secretary to return her public record to the Department,” Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi, said in a statement.

As Popehat tweeted:

I ask you, who among us hasn't wiped a server clean after its contents were requested by subpoena?

I naively wonder why she isn't in jail, but that's just me. Comments and views from those interested in American politics?

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  • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Tuesday March 31 2015, @03:42AM

    by hemocyanin (186) on Tuesday March 31 2015, @03:42AM (#164629) Journal

    It strikes me as odd that lying to Congress is worth 5 years (see Clapper) but destroying documents under subpoena is worth nothing but excuses and yeah-buts. What did Oliver North get some jail time for?

    Anyway, your point seems to be the "Fox guarding the henhouse" fallacy, where we are supposed to just trust that she turned over everything, despite there being significant gaps. That's baloney and it totally doesn't fly in any other litigatory context.

    As for that extra-draconian provision I mentioned earlier (up to 20 years), it appears there is some question about whether it is not applicable in legislative investigations (I had originally thought it was out -- maybe not):

    see PDF pages 64 - 67: Obstruction of Justice by Destruction of Evidence: []

    Beyond the bankruptcy matters to which the section explicitly refers,406 however, the case law suggests that, as long as a matter is within the investigative purview of a federal executive branch agency, the section extends to the obstruction of other judicial branch investigations such as those of the grand jury.407 The same logic might be used to bring destruction of evidence sought by Congress within the section’s purview.

    Interpreting: []

    Starting Score:    1  point
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   2  
  • (Score: 2) by linuxrocks123 on Tuesday March 31 2015, @06:20AM

    by linuxrocks123 (2557) on Tuesday March 31 2015, @06:20AM (#164671) Journal

    Kudos for linking to the Congressional Research Service. That's an interesting statute, although I think it's probably not applicable: changing your phrasing one place and not another is indicative of Congressional intent. But even if the statute is applicable, she can say she only deleted personal emails and therefore had no intent to impede an investigation. It's just impossible to tell whether she's telling the truth, and the burden of proof is on the state.

    I think where you're going wrong fundamentally is this isn't a litigatory context. Also, by the way, the interpretation of "tangible item" in the CRS report you linked is out-of-date. That interpretation was overturned on appeal in the Supreme Court case Yates v. United States, a case moderately famous for Kagan's dissent citation of Dr. Seuss.

  • (Score: 2) by linuxrocks123 on Tuesday March 31 2015, @06:34AM

    by linuxrocks123 (2557) on Tuesday March 31 2015, @06:34AM (#164674) Journal

    You need to look up what a "fallacy" is. In any case, of course we don't know whether she destroyed evidence. That's the point. The state would have to prove she did.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 31 2015, @07:57PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 31 2015, @07:57PM (#165011)

      Those pesky 5th, 6th, and 14th amendments, making Presumption of Innocence the standard. Too bad we can't do away with that nonsense!

      'Its better to let 100 guilty men go free than put an innocent man in jail,' and all that. Scumbags like Hillary are where its the most important to ensure the constitution and law are upheld, because setting constitution-eroding precedents against scumbags will come to bite everyone else in the ass very quickly. So what if she got away on a technicality? Better that than allowing unconstitutional fishing expeditions to become the standard and common practice.

    • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Tuesday March 31 2015, @09:28PM

      by hemocyanin (186) on Tuesday March 31 2015, @09:28PM (#165068) Journal

      I know there's no such thing as "fox henhouse" fallacy -- that's way I said I just made it up in one of my points. It's a sort of humor.